Michael Stern | Phoenix and the Golden Rule

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World: South Pacific Folk: Jazzy folk Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Phoenix and the Golden Rule

by Michael Stern

This salty sea shanty ballad tells a gripping tale of antinuclear war protests at sea in the 1950's, & it was composed & recorded by Seattle singer/songwriter Michael Stern - just in time for the relaunch ceremony of the Golden Rule.
Genre: World: South Pacific
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1. Phoenix and the Golden Rule
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Album Notes
This salty sea shanty ballad tells a gripping tale of antinuclear war protests at sea in the 1950s. “Phoenix & the Golden Rule” was composed & recorded by Seattle singer/songwriter Michael Stern just in time for the relaunch ceremony of the Golden Rule in Eureka, California on June 20th, 2015.

The following historical account on which the song is based comes from the website of Veterans for Peace Golden Rule Project: In 1958, a crew of anti-nuclear weapons activists set sail aboard the Golden Rule in an attempt to interpose themselves and the boat between the U.S. Government and its atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

They sailed from San Pedro toward the U.S. nuclear test zone in the Marshall Islands, but she never made it that far. She was twice boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard at Hawaii, and the crew were arrested, tried, and jailed in Honolulu. But, far from being defeated, their example helped to ignite a storm of world-wide public outrage against nuclear weapons, and which has continued down to the present in the many organizations still working to abolish weapons of mass destruction.

The example set by the Golden Rule and her crew was also the inspiration for subsequent environmental and peace voyagers and craft that followed in her wake including the Phoenix of Hiroshima, and later Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherds.

Jessica Reynolds Renshaw who sailed the Phoenix with her parents in the ‘50’s describes the song “Phoenix & the Golden Rule” as a “disarmingly simple and cheerful sea shanty with an elegant and profound message”.

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